Quinn Signs Medical Marijuana Bill
CHICAGO, IL - Illinois has become the 20th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law Thursday at a new University of Chicago medical facility.
Illinois' law takes effect Jan. 1, but it'll take several months before medical marijuana will be available for purchase. The measure outlines a four-year pilot program for patients suffering from more than 30 serious illnesses or diseases.
“As Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future’,” Governor Quinn said. “Over the years, I’ve been moved by the brave patients and veterans who are fighting terrible illnesses. They need and deserve pain relief.”
“This new law will provide that relief and help eligible patients ease their suffering, while making sure Illinois has the nation’s strictest safeguards to prevent abuse.”
Quinn also says Illinois' new law also has some of the toughest standards in the country, including background checks for all staff at state-run dispensaries and 24-hour surveillance at growing centers.
Nineteen other states and Washington, D.C., allow medical marijuana.